Erection of the day or FetLife, fetishes and what now?

like_ra_fetlife_fetishes-05Many years ago I joined FetLife, but never used it since then. Recently, thanks to Vanessa the subject reappeared (see What is your FetLife ID? forum thread), and I decided to have a look at this social network again.

Despite what Vanessa said, I always thought that FetLife is more a dating site than a community one. Probably I’m wrong so let’s have a look at it from all other sides except the dating one.

Yes, it is s social network with all the necessary attributes (profiles, time-lines/walls, pictures, friends, events and friend feeds) and all related drawbacks and inconveniences (you can’t find anything, messages disappear in the past, the walls look messy with all likes, activities, friend requests, etc).

The design and interface is cheaper and messier than FB or G+, what makes FL even less usable, but everything is compensated by the allowed content. You will not be censored or banned for publishing your neighbour’s cock or tits.

The API is the most obscure and the most non-standard I have ever seen. No wonder FetLife is not integrated into anything. Even the Android App is pathetic. To do something with the FL you MUST go to the website.

To find (and be found by) people with similar interests you can choose your fetishes or check who chose a particular fetish. And here where the chaos is even more obvious. Fetishes are not moderated. You can create your own, regardless if there is already a similar one, but with an extra space, with an extra capital letter, with different word order or simply with a mistake.

So, for example, there are:

Latex (96,306 users)
Latex, latex and more latex (55)
Latex & Rubberrubber/latex (267)
all rubber/latex (1,153)
latex, rubber (54)
latex and rubber (71)
latex/rubber (62)
Rubber latex (45)
latex rubber (50)
Latex & Rubber (276)
Latexubber/latex (6)
All things Latex (249)
rubber, latex (8)

And this is for one word “Latex” only! Probably there is a tactic for that, like there is more chance if you are noticed in a group with 6 members than with 90000. But still it does not make any sense. Also, you can’t search for people by more than one fetish.

I had some time during one boring conference call and filled in some of my “fetishes” or interests (the list is still growing!). See the attached screenshots ๐Ÿ˜€ Absolutely useless activity, but my imagination was boiling what led to a gorgeous erection. So, the goal was achieved ๐Ÿ˜€

The groups (or forums). Same mess. E.g. there are two separate forums “Self Bondage” and “selfbondage” (there are more, BTW).

The only useful feature is to check who lives around, look at their interests and then decide what to do with it. Hey, what if it’s you boss (see also Fetish, bondage and sex at work forum thread). Oh yeah, it’s that dating side again! ๐Ÿ˜€

Do I miss the point somewhere? This is my profile, BTW:, feel free to send me a friend request ๐Ÿ˜‰

13 thoughts on “Erection of the day or FetLife, fetishes and what now?”

  1. Glad to finally see you on FetLife. Yes, it is a strange API. The site runs on Ruby On Rails and Redis for the database. Certainly not you run of the mill LAMP site. I’ve met the founder John Baku and he is quite a genius at coding. I first had doubts at the site when it first launched. My wife and I have both been member since 2009, back then there was less than 96k users. Now there are almost 2 Million users worldwide. It sometimes has issues with going down, but considering the load on it, it does pretty well. There is no iOS app for it, since Apple is strict on Adult apps (but allows Playboy.) I have found a source code project where you can roll your own with Xcode, but haven’t had a chance to try it out.

    It is more like Facebook, most of the time I add people to my FetLife friends “after” meeting them at an event or play party. I would say 95% of the people on “my friends list” are people I’ve met in person.

    The number one complaint (similar to Facebook) is that it has a very obscure search engine on it. When you do a search for fetishes, it will also search for people, groups and places at the same time wether you want it to or not. What it really does well is connect people in the community together to find out what’s going on with munches, play parties and events.

  2. To simplify, my major complaints so far are:

    o- No API (let’s face it and call it “no” ๐Ÿ˜‰
    o- Non-standard markup language/tags
    o- No auto-matching algorithms/applications/services (e.g. similar interests and matching giving/receiving options)
    o- No good structure
    o- No good searching engine

    cbshackle (EnigmaBound) ” wrote:

    most of the time I add people to my FetLife friends โ€œafterโ€ meeting them at an event or play party. I would say 95% of the people on โ€œmy friends listโ€ are people Iโ€™ve met in person.

    That’s possibly why FL does not work for me ๐Ÿ˜‰ I never meet Internet people (I “speak” to in various forums or blogs) in real life (with only one or two exceptions) and I do not go to parties.

    And I do not use social networks much, because I do not like losing information.

  3. Originally search was seriously limited for a reason – lessen the “trolls” (imagine 10000 males logging in and searching for “female sub 19-35”, getting a whack, and then the resulting troll mail lol!). I totally agree with this, because I get enough troll mail as it is there, although nowhere near the levels I ever got on Collarme!

    What I like it most for is the Events page. You can check near you, and see what is happening and if it interests you. Second most is that I can keep in better contact with the local kinksters especially when they lose their facebook (about 2 years ago 90 some odd in Montreal that I knew had their profiles deleted, including me, even with REAL names and not posting anything naughty!).

    There has been talk of perhaps improving the search, but I will only support that if a member has to click “opt in”.

    Yeah, John REALLY needs to improve the layout. Even with a lifetime membership I end up not seeing all my contacts feeds (that’s the vanessa_fetish one, not angelika_doll, I was a greeter for a few years so they gave me a lifetime when I stepped down). I’d also like to see albums, better image adding/deleting, and perhaps even option to change colour layout.

  4. Oh, and the fetishes thing? That’s thanks to being allowed to add a “custom fetish”…. which to me was not a good idea lol. Better to say “contact us if you think a fetish needs to be added to the list”. Should have seen it before… it was WORSE! ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. For the “internet only” thing, there are lots of groups there designed for that.

    Most in the lifestyle, however, prefer personal contact, to actually know people etc, so the events etc are more useful for them.

    I guess I’m “old school” for society – loathe internet only, grew up having to use the “old fashioned way” of actually going out and meeting people, and even gee, a landline instead of a cell lol. I personally think online only HURTS humanity, we lose our social skills for in person.

  6. Oh, another one:

    o- The FL notification system is horrible! Even with 25 friends I can’t see comments to my comments, likes, messages, unless they are posted directly onto my wall. It’s just one huge mess!

    I take it the FL feed becomes fully unusable if you have more than 50 friends.

    I begin to love Facebook and Google+…

  7. Vanessa ” wrote:

    I personally think online only HURTS humanity, we lose our social skills for in person.

    Well, I fully agree with you here. It’s mentioned in various investigations. New kids do not have empathy, can not communicate, because 80% of communication is non-verbal.

    But on the other hand, the Internet is an ultimate freedom for such sociophobes as myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Just voted for three new features:

    o- Search for people by Location/Sex/Orientation/Age (basically, to improve the searching system, because it sucks big time)

    o- API (because it effectively does not exist)

    o- Clean up fetish list (because it’s ridiculous)

    BTW, I wonder if I can reach the limits. My fetish list is still growing ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. I’ve just realised, that it’s never gonna happen. Allowing API and creating a more structured facebook-like interface would break FetLife business model. Ha-ha…

    Currently, if you want to see the history (think of feed, notifications, etc.) behind the 4th page, you have to pay.

    Fetlife is interested in the mess, chaos, bad design and closed interface, because this is how they make money! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Well, they aren’t actually making that much. The vast majority of what they get keeps going back to the site and its costs, which have increased big time with more and more users. If they only were in it for the money, it would be ala the sites who charge a crapload like $15-$50 a month lol.

    But yeah, they *have* to do something about the layout etc.

  11. Vanessa ” wrote:

    Well, they arenโ€™t actually making that much.

    Then they probably have to change the business model. With 2 million users they should be able to earn.

    OTOH, pr0n ads will scare people away, fetishes and posted pr0n will scare usual advertisers away. And fetish industry (the only “matching” advertisers) is in decline (ha! like everything else).

  12. It’s still not a dating site, despite people voting for it online lol. Really, you can’t do the same things that you are usually expected on one. Which to me is good unless it is opt in only. I get enough play (especially as Domme) and don’t want to be harassed more and more by trolls. Think the site is in category soley because there isn’t a “best fetish/BDSM social network” one lol.

    Still, there not there to make a crapload of money. John didn’t start the site for that. Yes, they’ll make some, and of course the more made the better, but IF they were ONLY in it for the money… it would be like, and adultfriendfinder – total pay for pretty much anything useful. Is $6 a month sort of thing THAT bad to pay so you can see vids? (or whatever the amount is, and can be downloaded via Realplayer).

    Yes, totally agree that a LOT has to be improved. That won’t happen easily.

    I don’t think the ads will scare anyone away, people or advertisers. They are minimal, less than even when you pay a crapload for a monthly. Has the ads *here* deterred? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Nope. Fetish industry is okay, all have to adjust. Why pay $160 for a crappy CB-6000 when you can get steel for $35 shipping included? Really, it’s just a matter of the industry NOT overpricing itself. People want, just not at 300% markup ๐Ÿ˜›

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